Signs and Symptoms

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Signs and symptoms associated with hearing loss-including behaviors of affected individuals include:

  • “muffled” hearing,

  • asking for repetition,

  • tinnitus,

  • difficulty attending,

  • difficulty understanding speech in noise,

  • turning the volume up on the television/music,

  • thinking others “mumble,”

  • difficulty understanding speech on the telephone,

  • difficulty understanding speech, particularly of women and children,

  • rhyming mistakes-for example, hearing the high-pitched sound /t/ in the word tin as /f/ in the word fin,

  • not participating in activities/isolating one’s self,

  • speaking too loudly or too softly.

Signs and symptoms in school-age children also include

  • poor academic performance,

  • delayed language and speech production development,

  • behavioral concerns,

  • auditory processing problems.

Not all patients will experience each symptom.

Hearing loss is the result of impaired auditory sensitivity and/or diminished speech intelligibility of the physiological auditory system. Individuals with hearing loss are sometimes described as deaf or hard of hearing based on the type, degree, and configuration of hearing impairment.

Three basic types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed.

  1. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is hearing loss due to cochlear (sensory) or VIIIth nerve (neural) auditory dysfunction. Most of the time, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected. Presbycusis is a sensorineural hearing loss that occurs gradually, later in life, affecting hearing in both ears over time. The loss associated with presbycusis is usually greater for high-pitched sounds.
  2. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves easily through the outer ear canal, tympanic membrane, or middle ear (ossicles). Conductive hearing loss makes sounds softer and more difficult to hear. This type of hearing loss may be responsive to medical or surgical treatment.
  3. Mixed hearing loss is the result of damage to conductive pathways of the outer and/or middle ear and to the nerves or sensory hair cells of the inner ear.

The degree of hearing loss refers to the severity of the loss. Hearing severity can vary from slight to profound loss of hearing.

 If you are experiencing any the above, call us at 276.669.6331 to schedule an evaluation with one of our ASHA certified audiologists to see if hearing loss is the cause of your symptoms.